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Eight reasons to try a pressure cooker

Pressure cooking is a fast, cost-effective, and healthy way to cook a variety of foods, including dried beans, brown rice and other whole grains, soups, and meats. If you have not yet discovered the benefits of using a pressure cooker, here are 8 reasons to buy and use one.

1. Pressure cooking saves time. Cooking natural foods is often time-consuming, but pressure cooking slashes cooking times. For example, cook brown rice in 15 minutes, dried beans in 12 minutes, and lentils in 7 minutes.

2. Pressure cooking saves money. After the initial purchase, you can buy less-costly dried beans instead of canned, although you might keep canned for emergencies. The energy savings from shorter cooking times means lower gas or electric bills.

3. Pressure-cooked foods taste delicious. Since very little steam escapes during the cooking process, maximum flavor is preserved. Pressure-cooked meat is moist and tender, and dried beans are more flavorful than canned, which sometimes have an aftertaste.

4. Pressure-cooked foods are healthy. Because of the closed environment and shorter cooking times, more nutrients are retained than in open cooking. Dried beans are less processed than canned, and they avoid potential BPA that is sometimes found in canned food.

5. Pressure cooking is safer than you think. Although cooking with one requires a learning curve, pressure cookers today are safer than those used by our parents and grandparents.

6. Pressure cookers are helpful for preparedness. They can be used outdoors over an open flame. So, they can be used camping or in an emergency, and their cooking efficiency is especially helpful if wood or fuel is scarce.

7. Baby food and dog food can be made in a pressure cooker. These typically store-bought foods can be made cheaper and healthier than their pre-packaged counterparts.

8. Pressure cookers have withstood the test of time. Like cast iron cooking, pressure cookers have been used for generations. Unlike cast iron, however, new technology has truly improved pressure cooking’s safety and efficiency.